CARIBBEAN IS SPECIAL TO AUSTRALIANS
Cricket, calypso and cocktails…Australians have a close affinity to the fabulous islands of the Caribbean. This is the world’s biggest cruise destination and around 20,000 of us visit the region each year.
To give you an idea of the popularity of this area, Carnival Cruises operates up to 15 ships in the Caribbean year round. Royal Caribbean has six and Princess cruises also has half a dozen.
There are cruise ships galore everywhere you look and it’s not unusual to see half a dozen ships around the one port. If you are expecting to have the whole island to yourself in the best South Pacific traditions, forget it. There are thousands of tourists but they seem to spread out so there is never a crush.
The Caribbean is also the land of the giants…amazing ships of tremendous size which defy the imagination. We’ve all seen the TV travel shows featuring these giants, surely the greatest machines ever built by man.
However you have to see one tied up in a tiny port like Antigua to see how they dwarf everything around them.
The cricket fans on the islands of Barbados, Jamaica and Antigua, to name a few, love to have a yarn about the wonderful game we share in common. If you are lucky you may see a West Indies legend having a yarn in the main street.
Driving around you will see games of cricket underway in the streets and vacant lots…they may even let you join in if you ask nicely.
While cricket is a common denominator on some islands, there is a wide variety of cultures to experience in the region. Stunning Martinique is a world away from the bustle of Kingston and Georgetown. Historic cities like San Juan, Puerto Rico have a fascination all their own.
Stunning beaches and resorts are a highlight of any Caribbean cruise. In places the water is so crystal clear it is difficult to see where it ends on the beach...you have to touch it to believe it.
Most cruises depart from the Florida ports and typically take a week to visit half a dozen islands. This means your cruise is more of a rush then the typical Australian based cruise. You visit a new island every day with virtually no sea days.
This is rather strange because the American ships in particular feature daytime activities galore on the top decks. In my experience, many passengers visit the island in the morning, come back for lunch and then spend the afternoon on deck.
For the Australian family looking for something completely different, try Disney Cruise Lines. They carry on the Disney company’s famed hospitality and feature the characters from the hundreds of movies.